- X 2019
Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon, Jason Clark (executive) for Mutant Enemy, Lionsgate, United Artists, MGM
directed by Drew Goddard
starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker, Tim DeZarn, Tom Lenk, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Payne, Jodelle Ferland, Dan Shea, Maya Massar, Matt Drake, Nels Lennarson, Rukiya Bernard, Peter Kelamis, Adrian Holmes, Chelah Horsdal, Terry Chen, Heather Doerksen, Patrick Sabongui, Phillip Mitchell, Naomi Dane, Ellie Harvie, Patrick Gilmore, Brad Dryborough, Emili Kawashima, Aya Furukawa, Maria Go, Serena Akane Chi, Abbey Imai, Marina Ishibashi, Miku Katsuura, Alicia Takase Lui, Jodi Tabuchi, Sara Taira, Alyssandra Yamamoto, Richard Cetrone, Phoebe Galvan, Simon Pidgeon, Matt Phillips, Lori Stewart, Greg Zach
written by Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard, music by David Julyan, special makeup effects by AFX Studios, visual effects by Rhythm & Hues Studios, Perpetual Motion Pictures
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Five college kids, Dana (Kristen Connolly), her best friend Jules (Anna
Hutchison), Jules' boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemworth), Holden (Jesse
Williams) whom Jules wants to hook Dana up with, and pothead Marty (Fran
Kranz) want to spend the weekend in a cabin in the woods (you know the
kind, right in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone receptions and
miles upon miles of forests around where everything could lurk, and no one
hears you scream). There they eventually find a creepy diary in the
basement, and reading a Latin spell in it out aloud awakes some zombies
that are entombed nearby. Jules and Curt go outside to have sex, but the
zombies attack and kill Jules, the most sexually overt of the bunch, while
Curt makes it back to warn the others and they barricade themselves in ...
which is pretty much a plot so standard there must have been a hundred
horror films like this, but there's something different here, as
everything that's going on in the cabin and the surrounding woods is
controlled by a large corporation situated directly below. They are really
the kids' puppeteers, using everything in their power to have them do
their bidding, including drugging them if necessary ...
upstairs Marty, who has long suspected something wrong about the cabin but
everybody else thought it was just the pot speaking, detects a camera in
his room and starts putting two and two together, when a zombie crashes
into his room and drags him away. The other three are trying to get away
in their van but find the tunnle they've come through blocked. In their
attempts to get away, both Curt and Holden are killed, and downstairs,
their puppeteers start to party, as "the virgin" has survived -
even though it's less than likely that Dana is actually virginal -, which
means they can perform the blood sacrifice to appease the Old Gods - who
live downstairs from the complex right under the cabin in the woods. But
no, it's only now revealed that Marty has actually survived, and found
access to the complex downstairs. No other way out they go there, but it's
not much better here than in the cabin, as actually the complex houses a
whole array of monsters to release on the woods above, plus its own house
army. Dana and Marty though manage to release the monsters onto the
complex, then somehow try to make it out alive ...
Sigourney Weaver has
an amusing guest spot as the complex's boss.
Hailed as a
meta-movie upon its release, Cabin in the Woods is indeed pretty
good at playing with horror mainstays, putting together genre tropes in
refreshing ways without insulting the intelligence of its audience or
betraying its horror roots. The downside though is, despite all of its
cliché bending, some of the elements could have used a fresher treatment
as they're slightly tiring no matter how you spin it. Plus the finale
seems to give it all up in favour of spectacle, which is fun to look at
but fails to invest one emotionally. It's still a fun film though, and the
idea of the downstairs puppeteers is really fresh, especially since
they're also fun characters, and the whole thing is acted, shot and
directed really well. It's just not as fresh a shot to genre filmmaking as
it was marketed.